Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fun Baptism Day!

I'm Just Grateful For The Lord's Help and Everything He is Teaching Me Right Now

Hola Familia!
How has your week been? Things are going just great here.
I guess I’ll start with the big news. We had four baptisms this week. We had six planed but one decided he was going to move back to his old area and I’ll tell you about the other one in a sec. Danilo Arredondo, Miriam Vasquez, Sofia Gonzalez and Guadalupe Pedrozo were baptized this week. Miriam wanted one of the elders who found her to baptize her, and it just so happens that he was in town on Friday for zone conference (he is one of the assistants now) so it worked out perfectly. My comp baptized danilo, 20 years old and married, and Guadalupe, a hermano baptized Sofia and I was going to baptize Leo. I felt so bad for him. He’s nine and deathly afraid of water, so when he got up to his chest in water, he freaked out. We are going to be practicing in the coming weeks and we will probably find a shallower place to baptize him. Any ideas in overcoming fear of water for kids? Anyway, it was a really cool experience. I was very happy to have participated in the teaching of these people. They all got confirmed by members, so it was a real treat just to sit down and listen and feel the spirit. It’s fun to participate in the ordinances but it’s better to see the members participate, especially since they are the ones doing the long term fellowshipping. I am very content.
We got a bunch of our goals this week. We got that super standard that I told you about last week and we also got a thing called the district standard, which means our three companionship district averaged the old standard. It was pretty cool. Things are going good right now.
So yesterday I came to realize that the Lord taught me SOOO much stuff when I was a kid, I just didn’t recognize it. All the major experiences of my life like track, scout outings and school and stuff like that has dramatically changed who I am and how I understand the Gospel. It’s been really cool to think about some of these things. One that stands out in my mind came to me yesterday as we were teaching a less active family. They got baptized, went to the temple and had callings, but then they lost steam and have been inactive for quite some time. I started to tell them about that time that we climbed Shasta for our high adventure thing. So we woke up super early and started to climb. We climbed all day, working for what I thought was the summit of the mountain. I was crushed when, upon arriving and the top I saw that it actually continued. I had my sight fixed on a false summit and got really discouraged when I realized that I was going to have to keep going. I was really tired, discouraged and had a killer headache, so I quit and waited there for the others to come back. Interpretation: I think a lot of new members have their sights fixed on the temple and everything like that, which is perfect and right! They might, however, feel discouraged when they come to the realization that there is still quite a ways to go, and it’s not going to get any easier. That’s when everything takes its toll and they decide it’s time for a vacation.
This helped me to understand better how this couple felt and made me more able to help them set goals to go back to church. Enduring to the end is so key. Anyway, I’m going to start writing this stuff down.
We had zone conference last week, this Friday we go to Rosario for mission counsel, then we have zone conference again, mixed with divisions and keeping track of investigators and stuff makes for a busy week, but I love it so much. There’s no way we could do it all alone, and when I try, things go wrong. I’m just grateful for the Lords help and for everything that he’s teaching me right now.
I love you all a ton and will be praying for you all. Send greetings to all the rest and let them know that I’m thankful for the letters they send (specifically this week from the Laytons, Briggs and sister bean).
The church is true and God has called prophets to guide us in these last days. I know that this is true!
Elder Rau

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Just Going to be Happy I Live on the Second Floor!

I’m glad to hear that everyone is doing good and happy. I hope everything keeps going like that.
This last week was pretty much a roller coaster. Last week I wrote from Rafaela because we were on divisions up there, and Monday and Tuesday I was in two different areas here in Santa Fe (which is where I live). I got to go back to Yapey and see some members and stuff like that. We spent a good part of the day looking for some of my old investigators and some other people that I knew here and found a few. When I was here, it just wasnt there time, but maybe something has changed and they are ready now...who knows?
On Sunday a kid that I baptized in Yappey got the priesthood and I got to stand in the circle for another kid, that I actually did the baptismal interview for, when he got it. Did I tell you about that? I did the interviews for almost all the recent converts in my ward because I used to be the DL over Cabaa (my current ward). So I already knew a good portion of the members and even a few investigators, which is really helping a lot.
So the mission just came out with a new super standard. A while ago I talked a lot about the standards and how hard it was to get them, well... it’s not hard anymore. Our mentality has changed and we feel bad if we didn’t get the normal standards. Again, this isn’t all about the numbers. The indicators were designed by prophets, so if those numbers and high, that means that they say we have a progressing area. And we do. We were going to have a baptism last week, (kind of a free number) of a guy that moved in, but he couldn’t make it, so we have 6 for this week. I am very excited. Baptism is so cool, and it’s even cooler to see a lot of people do it at the same time. The spirit is so strong. But anyway, I got off track, basically we are going to be the first companionship to get the super standard, especially because when we checked the dats we had last week, we were above and beyond in only 2 areas. I would like to close this portion of my letter with a scripture that will appropriately convey what I would like to say next. Alma 26:12. you’ll have to look it up though, I don’t have it in English here in front of me. The miracles will continue because we arent going to let up.
Anyway, Danilo Arredondo, Miriam Vasquez, Claudio Loseco, Sofa Gonzlez, Guadalupe Pedroso and Len Pedroso will be baptized by someone that has the authority to do so, for the remission of their sins and allow entrance into the Lords kingdom. Len (leo) is 9 and I get to baptize him. His name means Lion...sweet huh.
We also have a couple that will get married in march. They just went and set up a date to get married in the registro civil (which is where everyone has to go to get married), so their baptism will be around the 20th of March. I’m pretty excited for them. They are excited too.
Anyway, I guess that’s about it from me this week. Just know that the church is true. We have been hearing about all sorts of catastrophes all over the world like freezing and earthquakes and stuff like that. Things are getting sketchy here too. I guess we are on the brink of a flood here in Santa Fe, which is bad because the city is shaped like a bowl... but the good news is that we have a prophet that has told us not to be scared, just be prepared and keep living the gospel...stuff like that. And in the meantime, I’m just going to be happy that I live on the second floor...haha.
I love you guys a lot!
Elder Rau

We Are Gonna Rock This Place!

Hola Familia!
How are you all doing this week? I’m great!
Well, I’m now here in Cabaa (thats the area name, it means cabin). Actually, I lied, I’m currently in Rafaela, a nice city about two hours north of Santa Fe. Apparently the zone leaders here promised an Asado (argentine BBQ) to a few companionships up here, and now I get to pay for it! I’m so gonna charge this to the other guy that left. But on a more positive note, I am having a great time with elder Sharp, my new companion. We are gonna rock this place! I always knew Cabaa was one of those legendary areas, mostly because the ward gives complete cooperation and feeds us and gives us references every day. But anyway, this is the first time in my mission I can 100% be confident that I can turn it over to my comp at any moment and he will pick up where I left off. Let’s just say that if this transfer goes like these first few days, we will be perfectly of one heart and one mind. I am very optimistic about this transfer. On top of it, we have 11 baptisms planed for the next few weeks, but I’m absolutely positive that 8 will make it. The field is white and we are ready to harvest. Our zone is also pretty much amazing! The only two companionships we are really worried about live with us, so that will be nice to be able to work with them more often, but other than that, it’s just gonna be a killer few weeks.
Another thing that makes this area so cool is the air conditioning. It’s really hot, but it’s been raining quite a bit, so it’s been really humid, then cold, then hot then humid and so on.
So a few of our baptisms One is a 14 year old girl that we taught for the first time Monday because a member family brought her to church and she really liked it. She told us at the end of the lesson after accepting the baptismal date that she is a new sister of us. We are also trying to teach her sisters and parents. I think the whole family will be in the water soon enough and on their way to being eternal. Another couple we have programmed will more than likely be baptized on separate dates. It’s a couple that got married so that they could get baptized, but when they went to go get married, the family of Romina (the wife) got all anti because they want to go to the baptism of the baby in the other church, and they want to be godfathers and godmothers and stuff like that, so she got spooked. Danilo will be baptized the 23 for sure. He doesn’t want to wait, so maybe if she stalls long enough, he might be able to baptize her. She lacks 5 months in her pregnancy, so it could be a long time, but she knows its true, she just needs to be brave and tell her family that baptizing babies is solemn mockery before God.
Those are just a few, the rest are part member families. The mom of one family and the kids of another, plus one that just got passed to us from another area. He is moving into our area on Friday and we baptize him the next day. Cool huh.
Well I think thats it for me this week. I hope you all have a great week. Don’t you worry about me, I’ll be just fine.
The church is true, baptism is the door and the priesthood is the key.
Love yall!
Elder Rau

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR to Everyone!

Hola familia!
Once again, I’m writing on Tuesday because I forgot to inform you about transfers. I’m really bad at that huh maybe I’ll figure it out someday. The good news is that today I am on a computer that can send pictures, so maybe I’ll get a few off.
Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone! We had a great time watching the fireworks from our roof. It was kind of eerie right before midnight because out of nowhere a huge wind picked up and only lasted for like a minute. We decided that that means it’s gonna be a big year, or something big is going to happen.
So about transfers I can’t believe it but I’m going back to Santa Fe living in the same pinch that I just came from, but upstairs. I am going to still be a ZL in the zone Recreo/Rafaela. The area is absolutely amazing. We will be baptizing quite a bit. My new companion was in my district in the MTC. Elder Sharp. He is an awesome missionary! I am very excited to work with him. He is from Preston, Idaho that right, Napoleon Dynamite town. He went to that high school, worked at that chicken farm and knew the real guy that was the inspiration for Lyle. He is actually part of the National Guard. I’m very content, but very sad to leave Concordia. This is one of my favorite cities and I’m really going to miss the members/investigators here. But I guess that’s just how it goes right
I can’t really think of anything else I wanted to write though I had some good stories, but I forgot. Just a few hours ago we got trapped in the elevator of our building that was funny. We were trapped in a little box and it was really hot. Yesterday we were clapping in front of a house and a big old German Sheppard came running at us, but luckily his chain stopped him. We started talking about how he was a mean dog and stuff like that, and then all of a sudden he charged again and broke his chain. It is possible that it was the most scared I have been in my mission. The dog took a few steps, then decided he wanted to go sniff around over by some plants, so he forgot about us. Close call
On a more spiritual note, we had to set goals for the month this week (even though we knew it was a possible that one of us was getting transferred). So we prayed and stuff, then wrote down our numbers and compared. We were exactly the same except for one of the three key dates, but we were only off by one number. Moments like those you can’t deny the inspiration. It’s always encouraging.
Well, I’ll end it here and try to get some pictures off. I love you guys a whole bunch and can’t wait to hear from you next week. I will be back in Santa Fe, so I will write if I haven’t been cooked to a crisp. It usually makes like 50Celsius which being interpreted is really really hot! Plus humidity
The church is true no matter where you go!
Love you lots!
Elder Rau